Jack Barentsen’s Emerging Leadership in the Pauline Mission

Just judging from the title, one may not realize that Jack Barentsen’s Emerging Leadership in the Pauline Mission: A Social Identity Perspective on Local Leadership Development in Corinth and Ephesus (Pickwick, 2011) deals extensively with the Pastoral Epistles. In fact in the nine chapters one deals exclusively with 1 Timothy and another with 2 Timothy.

Bartensen is concerned to trace cultural leadership patterns through the Corinthian correspondence, Ephesians and 1-2 Timothy since in a fairly close proximity (between Corinth and Ephesus) you have this many letters written to churches over the span of Paul’s ministry. This reading, of course, depends on Pauline authorship of each of these letters and Bartensen provides a good brief defense of Pauline authorship of the 1-2 Timothy.

I cannot here summarize all of the implications of PE study, but Bartensen’s reading of the situation in 1 Timothy makes good sense of the letter as an example of mandata principis. Paul’s more formal address to Timothy is expected to be overheard by the church particularly the wealthy home owners who would presumably host the church.

This is a helpful contribution to the Pastoral Epistles literature, and I didn’t want anyone to miss it since the Pastorals aren’t mentioned in the title.

The PE at SBL

There were a number of papers on the Pastorals at SBL this year including a full session of the Disputed Paulines study group being devoted to them.

The best paper on the Pastorals which I heard came from Jens Herzer of Leipzig. His paper was titled, “Language and Ideas of the Pastoral Epistles in Light of the Papyri.” Herzer, while not affirming Pauline authorship, has a positive view of these letters and presented solid work on the papyri. He argued for maintaining the individuality of the three letters (rather than simply lumping them together, as is too common), supported the idea of 1 Timothy as mandata principis, and made several other suggestions. Herzer seems to be working on a larger project on the Pastorals, so I will be watching for more from him.

The papers from the Disputed Paulines Section were less constructive and less helpful. The Monday morning session of this group had the theme, “New Methods and the Pastoral Epistles.” I will list each presenter and paper title with a brief interaction.

Ilaria Ramelli, Catholic University of Milan, “Tit 2:1-4, Women Presbyters, and a Patristic Interpretation”

Ramelli essentially argued that Origen affirmed women “elders.” However, even the evidence cited had Origen stating clearly that these women were neither to teach men nor to teach publicly in church. It was not clear to me that “elders” were clearly in view, rather than Origen simply affirming the role of women teaching and encouraging younger women as stated in Titus 2. AS the paper progressed it was not really rooted in Titus 2 but referred to wide ranging sources which alluded to women in ordained ministries. These references were primarily cited but not explained or defended. This paper was similar to her article “Theosebia: A Presbyter of the Catholic Church,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 26.2 (2010): 79-102.

Elsa Tamez, United Bible Society, “The Rhetorical Strategy in 1 Tim 2:8-3:1”

Tamez’s paper followed a similar approach as that found in her book on 1 Timothy. She cited some verbal parallels in this text, though her point was not entirely clear to me. She argued for a basic A, B. A’ structure in various places- some of which has been commonly noted in the literature. She did argue that this text prohibits women from certain ministry but suggested it is not necessarily binding, stating, “There have been men and women who have refused to heed this text.”. She stated, in what may have been an off hand comment, “So the only way out for women is rebellion.”

Marianna Kartzow, University of Oslo, “An Intersectional Approach to the Pastoral Epistles”

Kartzow, author of the recent Gossip and Gender: Othering of Speech in the Pastoral Epistles, essentially approached the Pastorals on the assumption that they are written as late as three generations after Paul and asked “Who needed this memory of Paul?” She was concerned with how different groups- particularly marginalized or oppressed groups- would have “remembered” the ideas contained in the letter. She stated that she did not think the Pastorals were reflections of reality and said we ought to pay as little attention to the Pastoral Epistles as possible because they contain dangerous hierarchies and are texts of terror. She noted, with apparent disappointment that she found little destabilizing ideas in the Pastoral Epistles, i.e. they were socially conventional.

Gail Streete, Rhodes College, “The Pastorals in Rehab; Why They Are Important to Feminism (And It’s Now What You Think)”

Streete is the author of several books, including The Strange Woman: Power and Sex in the Bible. I did not catch why, in her opinion, the Pastorals are important to feminism, though that failure is probably mine due to having listened to too many academic papers in a row. 🙂 She was pessimistic about the possibility of discovering meaning in these letters. She confessed, “I have never learned to love the Pastoral Epistles,” and referred to Deborah Krause’s portrayal of the Pastorals as the “grumpy old uncle” whom you learn to tolerate. She also affirmed the statement of Linda Maloney (in Fiorenza’s Feminist Commentary) that the author of the Pastorals was “a frightened would-be authority on the defensive.”

Comfort, Metzger, Omanson, NET and Westcott & Hort

[NB: Cross-posted from my personal blog, ricoblog. — RB]

In a post on my personal blog I threatened to do some comparisons between Comfort, Metzger, Omanson’s rewrite of Metzger and (where applicable) Westcott & Hort’s "Notes on Selected Passages". First, the list of books:

  • Comfort: $amz(141431034X New Testament Text and Translation Commentary) (Tyndale, 2008)
  • Omanson: $amz(1598562029 A Textual Guide to the New Testament) (German Bible Society, 2006) This is a "geared towards translators" edition of Metzger’s Textual Commentary.
  • Metzger: $amz(1598561642 A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition) (United Bible Societies, 1994)
  • NET: $amz(0737500611 NA27/NET Diglot) (Biblical Studies Press, 2004). I realize that the non-diglot NET has more notes and may have greater coverage, but the diglot is the only edition I have to hand at present.
  • Westcott & Hort: $amz(159244198X The New Testament in the Original Greek: Introduction and Appendix) (Vol. 2). (MacMillan & Co., 1896)

In this post, I’ll provide a list of readings covered in the book of First Timothy. I may expand upon some of the readings in subsquent posts. In this list, the following abbreviations are used: C = Comfort; O = Omanson; M = Metzger; NET = NET Bible TC notes; WH = Westcott & Hort

  • 1Ti 1.1: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 1.4a: C O M
  • 1Ti 1.4b: C O M NET WH
  • 1Ti 1.12: C
  • 1Ti 1.15: O M
  • 1Ti 1.17a: C O M
  • 1Ti 1.17b: C M NET
  • 1Ti 2.1: C O M
  • 1Ti 2.7a: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 2.7b: C
  • 1Ti 3.1 segmentation: O
  • 1Ti 3.1: C M WH
  • 1Ti 3.3: C M
  • 1Ti 3.16 segmentation: O
  • 1Ti 3.16: C O M NET WH
  • 1Ti 4.3: WH
  • 1Ti 4.10: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 4.12: C M
  • 1Ti 5.4: C
  • 1Ti 5.5: C
  • 1Ti 5.16: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 5.18: C O M
  • 1Ti 5.19: M WH
  • 1Ti 5.21: C
  • 1Ti 6.3: C M
  • 1Ti 6.5: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 6.7: C O M NET WH
  • 1Ti 6.9: C O M
  • 1Ti 6.13: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 6.17: C O M
  • 1Ti 6.19: C O M
  • 1Ti 6.21a: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 6.21b: C O M
  • 1Ti subscription: C M

Interesting standouts: First, Comfort’s coverage is most thorough in number of variations handled. Outside of the "segmentation" issues only noted by Omanson, Comfort misses 1Ti 1.15; 4.3; 5.19. These are areas that are of some text-critical interest, but not necessarily where differences arise in translation. Items that Comfort alone handles include 1Ti 1.12; 2.7b; 5.4, 5, 21.

Westcott and Hort don’t intend to be comprehensive (they only have 140 pages for the whole NT), but it is interesting that in 2 of the 5 places they show up, Comfort is silent: 1Ti 4.3; 5.19. The discussion in 1Ti 5.19 is about how a phrase in the Greek text is not found in some extant Latin witnesses. In the case of 1Ti 4.3, it is simply difficult extant text. While these are issues, it is pretty obvious that these sorts of things don’t really fit the target that Comfort (and Omanson) are trying to hit. W&H give text-critical information to text critics; Comfort and Omanson translate the text-critical information for a larger audience. Metzger sort of sits in the middle of both.

I may dig further into some of these, particularly those that have examples in every listed source (perhaps 1Ti 1.4b or 1Ti 6.7? 1Ti 3.16 is so well-known as to be over-analyzed), just to compare the level of discussion and style of notes each edition has. Let me know if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

First Timothy Written to Timothy?

Yep, back on this horse again (see here). The pastor of the church I attend has begun a series on First Timothy. This week we were on 1Ti 1.3-9, but during the sermon I drifted a bit (not much, don’t worry) to think about the intended recipient.

Many people say that First Timothy was written not really to Timothy, but primarily to the church in Ephesus. That is, there is so much in the letter that likely would’ve been elementary to Timothy (who had been Paul’s right-hand man for years by this point) the only reason for it being in there is for Paul to communicate to the church at Ephesus what he had in store for them — what Timothy was going to do — so that Timothy would then be in the clear, authority-wise, to go ahead and do it. (Or something like that)

But, if you look at the overall structure of the grammar in the letter, particularly person/number quality of verbs, it really does sound like it was written to Timothy and not to a group that included Timothy as leader.

In church today, I realized (duh) that communication today is much different than communication in the early Christian era. I agree that Timothy likely knew what his job was, and what Paul expected him to do. But with Paul gone, and for all intents and purposes out of reliable, regular contact; what better form for Timothy to have with him then a letter that clearly, plainly spelled out what Timothy was to do in order to get the Ephesian church back in line?

While Timothy knew the task, what would he do when he was challenged, say, six months into the task, by the false-doctrine purveyors he was attempting to extricate from the church? He could re-consult the letter, and say, "No, Paul really does want me to do this. It really is important. It really is tough. But he’s clear, this is what I’m to do."

This has much in common with P.Tebt.703 (and also here), which was a letter written from a superior to his lieutenant. In simple language it laid out clearly and plainly the expectations the superior has for his underling. The underling surely knew what he was supposed to do, but (as with First Timothy) the letter could also be consulted in the midst of the task to clarify or recall those long-since-forgotten (or at least hazily-remembered) instructions of the superior. After all, he couldn’t send an email, make a phone call, or do a google search to remind himself.

I’m not saying this is exactly the sort of purpose for which First Timothy was written. But it does help me (at this point, anyway) make more sense of the grammar and tone of the letter which seems to say so many things that would be so obvious to Timothy, at least at the time of writing. I’ll have to re-check some commentaries (particularly Witherington and Towner, which as I recall reference P.Tebt.703) to recall once again how the bring P.Tebt.703 into the discussion.

The manuscript . . .

The manuscript for my commentary, Reading Paul’s Letters to Individuals: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Letters to Philemon, Titus, and Timothy, is officially in the mail to Smyth and Helwys.

S&H expects the commentary to be available in October, just in time for SBL. Maybe I’ll need to go to Boston after all.

This is the commentary that Glenn Hinson was supposed to write, then Marty Soards. Both ended up not filling the contract. Then Hulitt Gloer wrote a manuscript, but was not able to finish it for health reasons.

So in January–you may recall–the editor of the series, Charles Talbert (who was my doctorfather at Baylor) asked if I could finish Gloer’s manuscript.  And I’ve spent the last few months doing so.

I’d originally hoped to have 300 – 325 double spaced pages, and ended up with 425: OUCH! Did I type all that stuff?

What’s innovative or fresh about the commentary? Two things, off the top of my head:

First, it is a scholarly commentary, interacting extensively with primary sources (Philo and Josephus, especially) and cutting-edge secondary sources (e.g., Bruce Winter’s work on the new Roman woman), BUT the exposition is aimed at preachers and teachers. This would be the first commentary I would recommend for people who want to preach these letters.

Second, this is the first commentary on the Pastorals to take into account the role that succession plays in these letters.

Westcott & Hort Outline First Timothy

When Westcott & Hort published their edition of the Greek New Testament in 1881, they also released (in $amz(159244198X a second volume)) a 300+ page Introduction discussing their text-critical principles (the volume also has 200+ pages of appendix, equaling 600+ pages of goodness). That introduction also discusses in some detail the typesetting of the edition in Section E, “Punctuation, Divisions of text, and Titles of books” (§§417-423, pp. 318-322).


[[NB: I’ve discussed the introduction on my other blog, ricoblog. The Intro/Appendix is available from Google Books if you’d like to check it out.]]


In the introduction (§419, p. 319) they discuss how they encode what is essentially a discourse-level hierarchy (sentence level and above) into the text using paragraph formatting, casing, and spacing.


Have you ever wondered why (if using a printed WH or an electronic edition with proper casing/punctuation) some paragraphs/sections begin with words in ALLCAPS; why sometimes there is vertical space before a new paragraph, and most of all why there are these long spaces (over a centimeter!) within paragraphs? And why sometimes sentences start with a capitalized letter, and others do not?


Well, you’ve stumbled onto WH’s typography/casing/spacing based outline of the text without knowing it. Here are the basics:



Major Section: vertical white space above, headed by word in CAPS
Section: vertical white space above, no initial CAP WORD
Paragraph: Newline with indentation
subparagraph: full stop followed by large amount of horizontal whitespace
UC-initial sentence: “Groups of sentences introduced by a capital bear the same relation to subparagraphs as subparagraphs to paragraphs”
lc-initial sentence: When a lower-case initial word starts a sentence. lowest punctuated unit; grammar dictates structure within the sentence unit.


Following this, I’ve examined a printed edition of WH and distilled the outline to First Timothy, which is below. I’ve only gone through this once (and that was hasty) so there may very well be some errors. Also note that the hierarchy I’ve implied is based on containing references; WH’s typography/casing/spacing does not imply a strict heirarchy (see Matthew). Also, dialogue in Greek NT’s typically begins with a sentence-initial cap; I’ve yet to determine how that would mesh with the encoded structure, largely because no such dialogue exists in First Timothy. That said, here’s the outline. Notable is how $esv(1Ti 3.1a) is handled, and also $esv(1Ti 6.2b).



1.1-6.22: Major section headed by ΠΑΥΛΟΣ

1.1-2: Paragraph
      1.1-2: UC-initial sentence

1.3-20: Paragraph
   1.3-7: subparagraph, UC-initial (single sentence)
   1.8-11: subparagraph, UC-initial (single sentence)
   1.12-17: subparagraph
      1.12-16: UC-initial sentence
      1.17: UC-initial sentence
   1.18-20: subparagraph, UC-initial (single sentence)

2.1-3.16: Paragraph
   2.1-7: subparagraph, UC-initial
      2.1-4: UC-initial sentence group
         2.1-2: UC-initial sentence
         2.3-4: lc-initial sentence
      2.5-7: UC-initial sentence
   2.8-3.1a: subparagraph, UC-initial
      2.8: UC-initial sentence
      2.9-10: UC-initial sentence
      2.11-12: UC-initial sentence
      2.13-3.1a: UC-initial sentence group
         2.13-15: UC-initial sentence
         3.1a: lc-initial sentence
   3.1b-13: subparagraph, UC-initial
      3.1b-7: UC-initial sentence group
         3.1b: UC-initial sentence
         3.2-6: lc-initial sentence
      3.8-13: UC-initial sentence group
         3.8: UC-initial sentence
         3.9-11: lc-initial sentence
         3.12-13: lc-initial sentence
   3.14-16: subparagraph, UC-initial
      3.14-16a: UC-initial sentence
         3.16b: metrically arranged

4.1-10: Paragraph
   4.1-5: subparagraph, UC-initial
      4.1-5: UC-initial sentence group
         4.1-3: UC-initial sentence
         4.4-5: lc-initial sentence
   4.6-10: subparagraph, UC-initial
      4.6-10: UC-initial sentence group
         4.6-7: UC-initial sentence
         4.8: lc-initial sentence
         4.9-10: lc-initial sentence

4.11-16: Paragraph
      4.11-16: UC-initial sentence group
         4.11-12: UC-initial sentence
         4.13: lc-initial sentence
         4.14: lc-initial sentence
         4.14-16: lc-initial sentence

5.1-6.2: Paragraph
   5.1-16: subparagraph, UC-initial
      5.1-2: UC-initial sentence
      5.3-8: UC-initial sentence
      5.9-13: UC-initial sentence group
         5.9-10: UC-initial sentence
         5.11-13: lc-initial sentence
      5.14-16: UC-initial sentence group
         5.14-15: UC-initial sentence
         5.16: lc-initial sentence
   5.17-25: subparagraph, UC-initial
      5.17-20: UC-initial sentence group
         5.17-18: UC-initial sentence
         5.19-20: lc-initial sentence
      5.21: UC-initial sentence
      5.22: UC-initial sentence
      5.23: UC-initial sentence
      5.24-25: UC-initial sentence
   6.1-2a: subparagraph, UC-initial
      6.1-2a: UC-initial sentence group
         6.1: UC-initial sentence
         6.2-2a: lc-initial sentence

6.2b-6.21a: Paragraph
   6.2b-10: subparagraph, UC-initial
      6.2b-10: UC-initial sentence group
         6.2b-5: UC-initial sentence
         6.6-8: lc-initial sentence
         6.9-10: lc-initial sentence
   6.11-16: subparagraph, UC-initial
      6.11-16: UC-initial sentence group
         6.11: UC-initial sentence
         6.12: lc-initial sentence
         6.13-16: lc-initial sentence
   6.17-19: subparagraph, UC-initial
      6.17-19: UC-initial sentence
   6.20-21a: subparagraph, UC-initial
      6.20-21a: UC-initial sentence

6.21b: Paragraph
      6.21b: UC-initial sentence

First Pass on First Timothy Complete

Since Perry has been giving some updates on his writing endeavors, I figured I’d update too since I recently hit a milestone.

If you know me, you know I’ve been working on my writing project, in my free time, for (I think) five years now. The working title, as of right now, is Word Studies in Context: First Timothy.

Basically, I’ve been working through First Timothy, phrase by phrase, looking at similar-sense word usage (as indicated by lexicons like BDAG, LSJ, Louw-Nida, TDNT) in the Pastorals, in the Epistles, and in the NT; but also in the LXX, Apostolic Fathers, Josephus, Philo, Pseudepigrapha and some other stuff (Papyri, Corpus Hermiticum, even stuff like the third century "Life of Polycarp" in a few instances) to determine/further understand how words and concepts are used in First Timothy.

The idea has always been to lay the groundwork for further study, likely a discourse analysis of First Timothy. I’m not done with the word level portion (I have much revision to do, I need to rewrite the intro and first chapter, and I have literally hundreds of handwritten notes in a kinkos-bound draft of chapters 1-5 to review and integrate).

But it is a big step. The PDF is 464 pages — not double spaced but with wide margins for notes and edits (if/when I print it out). The paper is 8.5×11, but the text would fit in a relatively standard sized book page. An earlier sample (10 pages covering 1Ti 5.17-19) is available if you’re interested in peeking.

When will I finish? I don’t know. But getting through the first pass (some portions are much more polished than other portions) is a big deal, at least to me. Chances are I’ll start digging into discourse issues before I completely finish tweaking/rewriting the word studies portion.

Why does it take so long? Well, since I’ve started I’ve met, courted and married the woman I love; and we’ve started a family (our daughter is nine months old!). These things take time and rightly upstage the writing project. But my wife is a saint and, by the grace of God, understands and encourages me in the writing project, so it will continue. And hopefully, sometime in the next few years, it’ll be at a state where it can be further shared or perhaps even self-published. If the sample interests you, let me know!

I’m Back!!

After some time away, I’m working in the Pastorals again.  Here’s a rather disjointed series of thoughts on what I’m doing.

The time away: last spring, I was named the Dean of the Sack School of Bible and Ministry at Kentucky Christian University, the school where I’ve taught for five years.  Administration has left me with almost no time to write, especially since our Youth and Family Ministries professor left without warning in June.

Writing again: my doktorvater, Charles Talbert, has invited me to finish the commentary on the Pastorals and Philemon in the Smyth and Helwys Reading the New Testament series.  This particular volume, which will be published under the title Reading Paul’s Letters to Individuals, has a checkered past.  Several NT scholars have had the contract at one time or another.  I’ll be completing work that Hulit Gloer was not able to finish due to health reasons.

My deadline: 4 July, which is growing nearer every day.

How it’s going: I made the mistake, when I first started writing, of trying to tackle Philemon first.  But I don’t know Philemon as well as I know the PE, so I’ve gotten a bit bogged down.  So I’ve started writing on the PE again.

Little projects that make up the big project:

  • In April, I’ll be presenting a paper at the Stone Campbell Journal conference, at Cincinnati Christian University.  The paper will deal with 1 Timothy 2.
  • The commentary will build on the reading of the PE from my monograph, Leadership Succession, and on the papers that I’ve read at SBL in Philadelphia (a narrative reading of the PE, using Aristotle’s Poetics as my primary lens) and Washington.
  • In the commentary, I will treat the letters in the order Titus – 1 Timothy – 2 Timothy – Philemon.

More on P.Tebt. 703

I blogged about this now nearly a month ago; in the end of the post I wrote:



I’d thought I would have to instead find the 1933 Tebtunis volume in a library somewhere, but this is so much better. I had to blog it quick; first so I could find the reference easily when I really want it later on; and secondly so y’all could be aware of it.


In the meantime, a friend went up to the library at Trinity Western, and he retrieved the information on P.Tebt 703 from the printed edition for me. I thought it would be 10 pages at most, consisting mainly of transcription and translation.


I was wrong.


The information on P.Tebt 703 runs for 36 pages. There are seven pages of background and discussion, followed by a six-part table of contents (!) before the transcription begins. Following the transcription is the standard translation/notes section that runs for 20 pages!


While there are some similarities in content between P.Tebt 703 and First Timothy and Titus, I think the jury is still out on them sharing genre. But if you’re looking to study this, the information in the Tebtunis Papyri, Vol 3 Part 1, for P.Tebt 703, is well worth looking up and studying.

First Timothy and P.Tebt. 703

If you read many recent commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles (particularly Witherington, though Johnson and probably Towner and Marshall), and if you have read the section on First Timothy in Carson’s New Testament Introduction and also in Frank Theilman’s New Testament Theology, you’ve heard of P.Tebt. 703.


P.Tebt. 703 is one of the Tebtunis Papyri. It is a letter dated “after 208 BC”. It is described as:



Copy of an official memorandum probably from the dioiketes to probably the oikonomos, giving instructions concerning agriculture, transport, royal revenues and monopolies, official correspondence, and behavior of royal officials.


Many folks look to P.Tebt. 703 as an example of a superior writing instructions to his lieutenant concerning administration of an area/group and see similarities with what Paul is writing to Timothy in First Timothy (and, similarly what Paul writes to Titus in the epistle to Titus).


I’ve been looking for a full translation of P.Tebt. 703 for a few days (well, thinking about looking) and this morning I finally remembered that I could hit APIS (Advanced Papyrological Information System) and probably find it pretty quickly. It’s better than I’d thought. The APIS entry has images, verso and recto, of all the extant leaves of the letter along with summary description and translation.


I’d thought I would have to instead find the 1933 Tebtunis volume in a library somewhere, but this is so much better. I had to blog it quick; first so I could find the reference easily when I really want it later on; and secondly so y’all could be aware of it.